Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Jesus Where'er Thy People Meet"1 (Lyrics)
John 4:23a – Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. (NIV)
My granddaughters always have a project in mind for me when I go up to the house to care for them. Recently, it was making masks, fashioned after their latest cartoon heroes. Once the masks had been made, we each had to wear one and pretend that we were that hero.
This latest project of theirs brought to mind how so often we Christians wear masks when we worship God in church, as well as in times of prayer. Too often, we want to impress Him with how good we are, so much better than just ordinary, sinful, falling-short-of-the-mark human beings.
Consequently, we put on our brightest smile and best attitude when we are among our church-going peers. After all, we don't want anyone to think that perhaps we have problems or sorrows or doubts. When we pray, we use a certain language; we seek to be correct in the way that we address God, even using formulas for the right way to pray. Yet, God sees through it all. He sees us just as we are — our doubts, our fears, our heartaches. He knows that we are fumbling with what to say and how to say it in as correct a way as possible so that He will hear and answer. He longs for us to throw aside our masks, to be honest with Him, and to worship Him in Spirit and in truth.
He wants us to seek to know Him, so that our true knowledge of Him — Who is truth — will allow us to remove our masks and worship Him from our hearts: simply, honestly, humbly, basking in His love and compassion for who we truly are. He knows that we are a fallen people who have been restored through the power of the blood of the Lamb; a people grateful for what He has done for us; a people who are not afraid to come to Him, for we know we are unconditionally loved just as we are.
In light of this, are we ready to cast aside any mask for worship that we may be donning and choose instead to worship the Lord from our hearts, in Spirit and in truth, just as we are? For this is right and pleasing to Him Who loved us, even unto death.
Prayer: Father God, forgive us for not trusting in Your love, and for trying, like Adam and Eve, to hide from You. Help us to come to the point that we can come to You just as we are, warts and all. Motivate us to know You more deeply through studying and through Your Holy Spirit, understanding Who You are through the power of Your Word, that we might truly, honestly, simply, and humbly worship You in Spirit and in truth. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.